Parents of son sentenced to life in prison for killing an Italian police officer speak out

Parents of son sentenced to life in prison for killing an Italian police officer speak out
Ethan and Leah Elder, the parents of Finnegan Elder, describe their son’s mental state as ‘perilous’

The parents of one of two Americans who were convicted and sentenced to life in prison after an Italian police officer was fatally stabbed have spoken out for the first time since their son’s verdict.

Ethan and Leah Elder, the parents of Finnegan Elder, described their son’s mental state as “perilous” after he was sentenced to life in prison.

“We just want Finn to be able to survive this,” Leah Elder told ABC News’ Good Morning America on Monday. “He has a noted history of attempted suicide, and we’re really worried and really concerned. He was utterly devastated by the verdict, just devastated. It was completely unexpected for him.”

Mrs Elder testified in court in last December about her son’s mental fitness, which included details on his past suicide attempts while living in San Francisco.

“He struggles with anxiety and depression, and his current situation is really perilous,” she added.

Finnegan Elder, 21, and Gabriel Christina Natale-Hjorth, 20, were found guilty last week of murder, assault, killing a public official, and extortion for stealing a backpack from a drug pusher and demanding money or drugs in exchange. 

Separately, Elder was found guilty of carrying a military-grade knife, which was a prohibited weapon in Italy.

The pair received Italy’s harshest sentence, life in prison, for their crimes.

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